College Basketball Picks
Date/Time: January 2, 7:00 pm EST
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Point Spread: Duke -13
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The Duke Blue Devils and Davidson Wildcats will meet in a last minute non-conference matchup at Charlotte on Wednesday night. Both of these teams will start conference play in the next few days, but this should be one more nice tune up. This one will take place at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. Can Duke keep their top spot in the college basketball rankings?
Davidson was one of the first mid-major teams to make some major noise in the NCAA Tournament. Bob McKillop’s team does it the right way, and it is hard to not cheer for this group. There is no Stephen Curry on this year’s team, but there are a lot of guys who are very solid. Junior De’Mon Brooks is the star of the team. Brooks is a forward who can play inside or outside. Brooks averages 15.2 points per game, and he was the Southern Conference Player of the Year last season. Davidson seems to always have plenty of shooters, and this year is no different. Davidson shoots 79.5% from the free throw line, which is fourth best in the country.
The Wildcats do have some weaknesses. Davidson isn’t very good on the defensive end. Opponents shoot 43% from the floor, and the Wildcats struggle on the defensive glass. Second chance opportunities have hurt this team in big games this year. They’ll have to try to neutralize Duke’s advantage on the inside if they are going to stick around in this one.
Most people expected the Duke Blue Devils to have a solid season this year. Coach K always does a good job with this team. Still, not very many people could have seen this terrific of a start coming. Duke sits at number one in the rankings, and the Blue Devils have yet to lose a game all season thus far. They have been tested a few times, but the team has always come up with the big plays when they needed them most. Mason Plumlee is putting together as good of a season as any player in the country. Plumlee is averaging 19.5 points and 11.6 rebounds per game so far this year. He has taken over many big games when the team appeared to be in trouble. Five Duke players average double figures in scoring so far this season. The fact that the team can rely on so many different guys really helps them against top teams.
Seth Curry, Quinn Cook, and Rasheed Sulaimon have exceeded all expectations in the backcourt this season. Overall, Duke is putting up 81.2 points per game this season. The Blue Devils are shooting 41.5% from beyond the arc. One reason why the team is still unbeaten this year is their improved defense. Last year, the Blue Devils struggled defensively. This season opponents are shooting only 38.8% from the floor against Duke.
It’s hard to imagine Davidson being able to handle Duke’s strength on the inside. The Blue Devils should coast to a comfortable win here.
Duke 84 Davidson 66
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